The HMB Endeavour

Dec 15
Posted by lfpl Filed in Expeditions, Life on the Sea, Projects, Ships

HMB Endeavour
* 1994 – Present * Australian Maritime Museum, Sydney, Australia * *

In honor of one of the world’s greatest explorers, Captain James Cook, and his ship the HMS Endeavor, a replica was started in 1988 to commemorate the Australian Bicentenary of European Settlement in Australia by the Bond Corporation. Constructed in Fremantle, Western Australia, she was completed in 1993 and commissioned in 1994 as one of the world’s most accurate maritime reproductions ever built. She took funding from various organizations, corporations, government, and private sources as well as labor and support from volunteers in the Fremantle community. She was operated by the HM Bark Endeavor Foundation until 2005. She was taken over by the Australian government through the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in 2005 to the present day. Her maiden voyage took place in October of 1994 sailing to Sydney Harbour and following Cook’s path from Botany Bay to Cooktown. From 1996-2002 she retraced Cook’s ports of call around the world arriving in Whitby in 2002. She has since circum-navigated the world twice with over 170,000 nautical miles on her clock, visiting over 29 countries, most of the Pacific Islands, a ship museum in 116 ports, and this year of 2011, has embarked upon its first ever circumnavigation of Australia replicating Captain Cook’s original circling of Australia that is expected to take 13 months of sailing with a core professional crew and 40 adventurous voyage crew members learning the ropes of sailing a historic ship and what life was like in the 18th century onboard. The HMB will be docking at various ports every 5-12 days as it makes its way around Australia for visitors to embrace her glory and tour her presence in port of these particular cities as a floating museum. She will be docking in Brisbane (28 April – 8 May 2011), Gladstone (21 – 26 May), Townsville (10 – 14 June), Cairns (24 June – 5 July), Darwin (3 – 14 August), Geraldton (30 September – 4 October), Fremantle (14 October – 1 November), Bunbury (9 – 13 November), Fremantle (20 November – 30 December), Albany (14 – 18 January 2012), Port Lincoln (4 – 8 February), Adelaide (16 – 23 February), Portland (7 – 11 March), Hobart (24 March – 3 April), Melbourne (18 – 29 April), Eden (9 – 13 May) with brief visits to Thursday Island, North Qld (16 – 19 July 2011), Broome, WA (29 August – 1 September 2011) and Exmouth, WA (14 – 17 September 2011) to take on provisions and exchange voyage crew. Voyage crew members will sleep in hammocks and work hard climbing masts and hoisting sails. Four “supernumeraries” will have their own individual cabins and participate in the less arduous tasks on the ship. She has been completely refit for this 2011 voyage. The ship is beautifully crafted in replica-fashion giving the visitor a glimpse of a sailor’s life during the epic 1768-1771 voyage that brought Captain Cook to the shores of Australia. The replica has over 30 kilometers of rope and over 50 wooden blocks and pulleys, masts and spars holding 28 sails that manifest over 10,000 square feet of canvas. Life will be demonstrated during the tours on deck, in the galley where one can view the great firehearth that was state of the art in 1768. One can look over Captain Cook’s Great Cabin where he worked, dined, and shared quarters with the world famous botanist Joseph Banks. The replica is under the command of its regular master aptain Ross Mattson. While every advantage to power her by wind will be used in every respect as Cook’s original vessel could, she also carries engines, generators, an electric galley, showers, and safety equipment hidden in the cargo hold where the historic provisions were originally kept. Her 2011 voyage can be viewed in a daily log/ blog beginning here:

The masts, bowsprit, deck, and topsides are all laminated Douglas fir on the HMB Endeavor. The Original ship, the HMS Endeavor, had spruce or fir as the main wood. The keel, lower hull, and frame of the ship is made from Western Australian hardwood jarrah while the HMS was of oak or elm. The HMB Endeavor’s sails are made from a synthetic canvas called Duradon while the original was of flax canvas. Over 18 miles of rope is used in the rigging. The six anchors with four carried on the bow weighing just under a ton in weight were replicated from those found after being lost from the original Endeavor on the Great Barrier Reef in 1770. The anchors are raised by the catheads and winched up by the windlass, all of which are replicated from the specifics of the original ship. The seats of ease are also replicated that are located by the catheads. The HMB Endeavor strikes the ship’s bell to tell the time of day – struck each half hour. A four hour watch is comprised of 1-8 bells with one hour indicated by two bells struck closely together. The firehearth down below has been replicated as a huge iron stove sitting on a stone hearth set on tin and sand to protect the deck in the best way possible to mimic the HMS Endeavor as a working model. It gained such attention in that it works and cooks 18th century type meals so well, it was featured in the BBC documentary “The Ship” filmed on board in 2001. Various 18th century replicas of kitchen and feasting items are on display. On the hatch are displayed various casks, containers, and sailmaker’s tools. A piece of pig iron ballast from the original ship recovered from the Endeavor Reef in Queensland is lashed to the central pillar representing the only original item on board. Hammocks and swinging cots were replicated and used by the operational crew. Mattresses onboard are handmade following 1760 specifications stuffed with wool and cotton waste. The latticed pantries were used for food storage and the preparation areas where Captain Cook would make plans is now where the navigation equipment is stored. The cabin of Charles Green, the Royal Society appointed astronomer, contains a copy of his original hand-made paper journal he made observations in by quill. The replicated curtains and bedspread are an attempt to match that which his wife originally made for him. The cabin shared by the artists, Sydney Parkinson and Alexander Buchan contain copies of Parkinson’s paintings, clothes, books, and personal effects. A marine was posted in the lobby of the ship day and night to protect the captain. Captain James Cook’s cabin is the largest on board with replicas of his desk, books, charts, and uniform on display. All sheets (linen) and curtains (wool) are hand loomed and hand finished. James Cook and Joseph Banks shared the cabin, replicas of his cloak he traded in New Zealand, shaving gear, and collection of shells from the voyage are in this room.

The heating stove is replicated from the one recovered in the 1984 discovery of the HMS Pandora wreck sunk on the Great Barrier Reef while returning Bounty mutineers in 1791. Corner cupboards and serving table show replicated bottles and pewter. The wooden trunnel in the sternpost surrounded by a brass ring was carrid aboard the US Shutle Endeavour’s maiden flight in 1992. Many gifts from the indigenous community are scattered throughout the Great Cabin including an Australian Aboriginal dalungda (nautilus shell) pendant, maori taiaha war staff, maori manaia of carved whale bone, australian aboriginal dithol, bunch of feathers, sooke indian paddle, french boomerang, South American seed, Australian Aboriginal boomerang and message stick.

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HMB Endeavour In-Depth: The Great Cabin

Apr 28
Posted by Tom Filed in Life on the Sea, Ships

HMB Endeavour In-Depth: The Great Cabin

The HMB Endeavour is the official “replica” of the original of Captain Cook‘s ship, the HMS Endeavour. It was the HMS that was used to sail from England to study of the transit of Venus across the sky from different parts of the globe in order to measure the distance between the Sun and the Earth as well as for a secret mission to find the mythical land of Terra Australis Incognita which has become modern day Australia. The original Endeavour was planned in April 1768 in Deptford Yard where the original first set of deck plans for the bark Endeavour were designed. When the main cabin was first designed, it was based on the sole use of the captain as his working and dining area with his bedplace led off on the starboard side with two smaller cabins on port side for use as pantries separated by a lobby. After Deptford Yard was notified that Joseph Banks would be on board they had to re-design the cabin so that it would be shared with Cook, Banks, and his men. In this re-design, the main cabin was not enlarged, but shortened to six feet 2 inches by six feet, described as a “place of retirement which just held a Few Books and our papers”. Due to Joseph Banks size at 6’4″, during the voyage, he would often sling his hammock in the Great Cabin for additional comfort as Did Dr. Solander.

The HMB Endeavour was built in Fremantle, Western Australia as a bicentennial gift to Australia from the Bond Corporation and is universally regarded as the most authentic replica afloat. As I joined the crew in April of 2011 right after the first leg of their first ever circumnavigation around Australia sailing just as they arrived from Sydney to Brisbane. As a volunteer tour guide, I quickly had to learn the history of Captain Cook and the Endeavour. One of my first duty stations was in the Great Cabin, re-created to be viewed as we imagine Captain Cook’s original “Great Cabin” was to have looked like during his quest to Australia. This chamber represented the place on board where Captain Cook, Joseph Banks, and Dr. Solander would have spent most of their time during the voyage while on board. Just like in the days of old, the current Great Cabin is the domain of the captain. Usually, the Great Cabin was not shared with other crew, but when the prestigious Joseph Banks and his group joined the expedition, Captain Cook had to share the room with them. The HMB Endeavour’s onboard museum has re-created this cabin to appear as the Australian National Maritime Museum has re-enacted it based on a scene described by Joseph Banks in his writings of the original journey.

The walls or bulkheads are panelled with a style based on sections of tongue and groove panelling recovered from the wreck of a 18th century merchant ship believed to be a collier built in Whitby, as was the original Endeavour believed to have had. It was fashionable in the middle of the 18th century to change the color of their rooms from olive, stone, beige, and brown to newer and brighter colors of blue and green. Wood brown and stone was chosen for the Endeavour replica to demonstrate more “masculine” rooms since it was used as a study and library. Shipyard specifications recommended they were painted with three coats of priming and one final coat of the color of stone, wood, or beige, well grounded and laid with linseed oil.

There is a letter from Cook on June 30, 1768 where he requested from the Navy board that a green baize floor cloth to be supplied for the Great Cabin’s floor which is described in Bank’s writings about the Great Cabin as having existed during their journey as a red floor cloth of painted canvas.

A heating stove stands in the front of the room against the wall between entrance to the Officer’s Mess, Captain Cook’s bedroom, and Joseph Bank’s Bedroom. This is a replica and serves to demonstrate what a onboard stove at this time would have looked like in this cabin. In 1791, the Royal Navy frigate named the HMS Pandora (built 1778 in Deptford) was travelling across the Great Barrier Reef when it became wrecked during a voyage to return Bounty mutineers. When the wreck was discovered in 1984, a heating stove was recovered. It is believed to have been a similar one to that which would have been originally found on the HMS Endeavour. This is the stove the replica is based on.

The Great Cabin had four stern windows and two quarter windows to provide as much natural light and ventilation as possible. It is unknown to date how these stern windows were opened and closed. For the replica, it was built with two curved top panes of each window fixed into position with the lower sash dropping neatly into the stern counter. Sashes were raised by lead weights replicated from weights found on the Pandora wreck.

In the corners of the room are wooden cabinets and cupboards that are styled after what Joseph Banks described to have been in the Main Cabin. Replicated bottles and pewter artifacts are displayed within them. A serving table extending from these cupboards are also displayed in this museum room.

The center sternpost in the main cabin contains a wooden “trunnel” surrounded by a brass ring that was originally carried aboard the US Space Shuttle “Endeavour” during its maiden mission into space in 1992 by its commander Daniel C. Brandenstein. When Daniel visited the Endeavour when it was built in Fremantle, he hammered this trunnel into the sternpost to unit the sailing ship’s voyage with the space shuttle’s mission.

In this museum room is the desk of Joseph Banks who spent many hours every day in this room writing in his naturalist journal about the voyage. Papers from his journal, replicated from the original on hand-made paper, sit atop the desk. Also are some of his 110 books replicated from editions that now reside in the British Library, as well as a replica of a cloak he traded in New Zealand, his shaving gear, and a collection of shells from the expedition.

At the main table in the center of the room is where it is believed that Dr. Solander sat checking new plants collected during the expedition and classifying them using Linnaeus’ taxonomy books “Species Plantarum”. He was known to first draw the plants from the live specimens, then dry them for the return voyage back. Also at the table would be charts by Sydney Parkinson and drawings by James Cook and his fellow officers.

Displayed around the great cabin are many artifacts and gifts received through the years by the actual HMB Endeavour to demonstrate similar gifts that would have been received during the voyages of the HMS Endeavour. These are gifts from indigenous communities that the replica has visited since 1994 including a Australian Aboriginal dalungda pendant (Nautilus shell) that hangs above the table, next to a Maori taiaha war staff from New Zealand, and a Maori manaia of carved whale bone. Above the sternpost can be found a Australian Aboriginal bunch of feathers next to a dithol. On the overhead beam is a Australian Aboriginal fishing spear. Portside wall has a Sooke Indian Paddle from Canada and a French Boomerang. Starboard is a South American seed, and an Australian Aboriginal boomerang and message stick, with another message stick above the fireplace.

For more Information About

The Living History Museum on board the replica of the HMS Endeavour –
The HMB Endeavour, while docked in port at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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